history

Rare George Washington-Era Copper Penny Dating Back To 1793 Goes For $300,000 At Auction

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

As a kid, I always dreamed of finding a historical artifact in my backyard. I know that might sound strange, but how cool would it be to discover an ancient arrowhead or wartime bullet casing while playing outside?

Of course, I never found anything that exciting, but every so often, I would find an old coin and get really excited about it. None of the coins I found were ever worth anything, but I still loved imagining all the places the coin had been.

Some people, however, are lucky enough to find coins that actually are pennies worth some serious money. In fact, there are some still in circulation worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The rarest coins are usually kept in collections, but every so often, they go to auction — and they sell for a lot.

This week, the annual Florida United Numismatists convention was held in Tampa, and it raised almost $25 million in sales. The big seller? A penny that went for $300,000.

So why did this particular copper penny draw in so much money? Well, it was one of the very first copper pennies ever struck at the US Mint in Philadelphia. The coin dates all the way back to 1793.

There are only about 500 of these pennies still in existence, so it makes sense that it would be expensive!

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Thumbnail Photo: Heritage Auctions, Creative Commons: P Lo

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